What Happened to Bella Bond?

The tragic case of the child known as Baby Doe.

The disappearance and death of two-year-old Bella Bond, known until last week as Baby Doe, has captivated the region if not the country. Until she was identified last week, we knew next to nothing about her. Now, we know who she is, what possibly happened to her, and who her parents were, but we still do not know why this happened.

For those not up to speed, here’s what we know so far.

Who was Bella Bond?

The body of two-year-old Bella Bond was found in a trash bag on the rocky shores of Deer Island in June 2015. There was no identification of Bella when she was found and no one came forward to claim her body, so she was given the name Baby Doe. Not long after discovering the body, a massive public awareness campaign began to solve the mystery of her identity, complete with a computer rendering of her face. Local media featured her picture frequently and billboards with her face were plastered all over the region.

Did the campaign to find her work?

Yes, on Friday authorities announced they identified Bella and possible suspects in her disappearance and death. Law enforcement received a tip from a neighbor about a missing child matching the description of Bella and location of her mother.

Who has been arrested in the case?

Bella Bond’s mother, Rachelle Bond, 40, and Rachelle’s boyfriend, Michael McCarthy, 35, both lived in an apartment on Maxwell Street in Dorchester. McCarthy has been charged with murder, while Bond has been charged with accessory to murder after the fact. They are both due to be arraigned at the Dorchester Division of the Boston Municipal Court on Monday.

Bella’s biological father, Joseph Amoroso, 32, has not been arrested or charged with a crime. In interviews, Amoroso said he met Bond in an Occupy Boston tent in 2011 when they were both homeless. He was not a major part of her life after her birth and never met her. Bond reportedly told Amoroso when he arrived at her Dorchester home to finally meet Bella this summer, that she was dead and that McCarthy killed her. The two parents did not report this information to the authorities, though it is unclear why. Like Bond, he has a long criminal history. He now lives in Florida.

What happened to Bella Bond?

Bella’s mother has a history of heavy drug abuse, crime, prostitution, and neglecting her children. According to reports, her criminal record goes back to 1999. Her two other children were removed from her home by the Department of Children and Families. One of those children has since been adopted while the other is in the custody of a maternal grandmother.

Bella’s living situation, like her two siblings, was the subject of a DCF investigation in 2012 and 2013, but it was closed. Bond presented a much different image to the world on her social media accounts. On a Facebook page believed to be hers, Bond presents herself as a loving mother with photos of her holding Bella.

DCF, stung by recent high profile failures, is expected to thoroughly review her case.

Reports have surfaced since Friday alleging McCarthy punched Bella in the stomach multiple times before ultimately killing her. McCarthy reportedly punched Bella in the stomach because he thought she was possessed. It is believed her body was stored in a refrigerator for an undetermined amount of time not long after she was killed. McCarthy allegedly said Bella was a “child of Satan.” Bella was killed just shy of her third birthday. McCarthy has a criminal record that includes drug and domestic violence charges.

Why did this happen?

The details of everything in this case are still trickling out, but it appears this girl was in an awful situation and nobody cared enough about her—or even noticed her plight—until it was too late.